“That might be a stretch,” I mutter, but I’m too embarrassed to argue.

“I can think of a few ways you could make it up to me,” he suggests, those lips of his finding the most sensitive parts of my neck.

I swing my leg around to the other side of the chair so I’m straddling him. “That was what I wanted her to say, for the record. I wasn’t looking for trouble, I just had to be sure.”

“I understand,” he says, nodding as he hikes the skirt up around my waist.

Grasping his tie and holding him still, I hold his gaze. “Thank you for doing that for me.”

Nodding once, maintaining eye contact, he says, “I’m glad you got what you needed.”

Still holding his tie, I trail my free hand down his chest. “If you still want me to go to your bedroom, I’m willing to shirk my responsibilities now.”

Tilting his hips to push his erection against me, he asks, “What do you think?”

I lean in and give him a soft, lingering kiss, then several brief kisses around his mouth before I claim his lips and let my tongue convey a deep, intimate apology.

When I pull back, I caress his face and run my fingers through his soft, dark hair.

Finally, I climb off his lap so we can go to his bedroom. He doesn’t stand with me though, so I drop his hand. “You coming, or am I on my own?”

“Don’t you dare,” he warns. “Naked in my bed, but if you start without me, there will be consequences.”

“Don’t be too long, then,” I tease, giving him a saucy look over my shoulder.

“Trust me, I will only be as long as it takes to give the repairman Mia’s address.”

Chapter Thirteen

Saturday evening when I get back to Mateo’s room, there’s a golden gift bag and a black garment bag draped across the foot of the bed.

“Presents,” I murmur to myself, placing the card on the comforter and digging into the bag. Inside I find a red lace bra and panties set and a pair of the most beautiful shoes I’ve ever seen. Black lace platform pumps with red soles.

I unzip the garment bag next, and inside is a black sleeveless cocktail dress, flapper style, with gold sequins. I emit a mostly soundless squeal, then hightail it to the bathroom to check myself out in the full-length mirror.

Since Lily’s already in bed, I stay in Mateo’s room. It’s where I end up most nights anyway, creeping back to my room when the rest of the household are asleep.

Mateo comes in a little bit later, but he stops by the door. I look to see why he hasn’t come inside, and then I realize he’s wearing a black fedora on that gorgeous head of his.

“Oh. My. God,” I say, staring at him.

He doffs it and gives me a dry look. “I hope you know I’m never wearing this in public.”

“I hope you didn’t plan on sleeping tonight.” Throwing back the blankets, I pad across the soft carpeted floor and wrap my arms around his neck, giving him a moony expression I’m only slightly exaggerating. “How did you get this sexy?”

“I would say good genes, but really bad genes; we’re all crazy assholes.”

“But you look like a dream in this fedora, so I think you should call it even.” Groaning, I grab his lapels. “And you in this suit. God. I wish I could fuck you without taking any of your clothes off.”

Smiling down at me, he tugs me close. “You like your dress?”

“I love my dress. I love how you know exactly what I like—that was one of your tendencies I liked that Mia teased me about. You pay attention to everything.”

He shrugs like it’s nothing. “Wasn’t hard to piece together. You like Sinatra, the piano bar—you specifically requested this fedora.”

“I never thought it would happen, but you’re my hero for doing it,” I state, grinning. “I was completely right, by the way; you damn sure rock a fedora.”

“I’ll take you to a speakeasy next,” he teases.

“I can’t handle how perfect you are.”

Lifting his eyebrows, he says, “Now no one has ever called me that, even behind my back.”

“Fools,” I murmur as I lean in to kiss him.

He walks me back a few steps, then grasps my ass, lifting me to carry me the rest of the way to the bed. Once there, he drops me none too gently, following me down and moving over me. I love his playful side. The contrast between this mythical mob boss, feared and hated in almost equal measure, and my lover, who dons a fedora he thinks is stupid just to make me smile.

God, I like him.

I never felt this smitten with Rodney, and I married that bastard.


I did not realize, even when he gave me the dress and shoes the night before, that I was invited to Sunday night dinner.

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